5 Birds You’ll See on Murray River Safari
Murray River Safari is our tour for lovers of wildlife and bird encounters. We’ve designed this tour to include a range of activities that allow you to observe birds and wildlife on and off the river at times of the day when they are most active.
Murray River Safari is a 3 day 2 night tour that combines canoeing, walking, river cruising and a bus tour to help you encounter a range of wildlife & birdlife on the Murray River.
Bird life encounters galore!
On a sunset canoe through quiet creeks you may see kangaroos and emus at the waters edge having a drink and you will glide quietly into lagoons where Whistling Kites will break the silence, and White-faced herons, Yellow-billed Spoonbills and Great Egrets are feeding.
We dedicate a half day to a unique birdwatching safari, beginning with sunrise on one of the great lakes of Calperum Station – Lake Merreti. Lake Merreti is 1.0 km wide and almost 4km long and managed by ecologists to support the recovery of ecosystems that create a breeding paradise for Black Swans and Musk Duck, and refuge for Blue-winged Shovellers and Pied Stilts. White-bellied Sea-eagles are often seen.
1. Black Swan
During May and June Black Swans are seen in great numbers at Lake Merreti on Calperum Station with breedings pairs coming together to build nests and rear their young. Cygnets can be seen swimming behind their parents near the shoreline and the symphony of their calls is beautiful to listen to.
Black Swans pair for life and eggs are laid in an untidy nest made of reeds and grasses which we can see through the spotting scope. They are a beautiful large wetland bird, one of our favourite to see on our morning tour.
Image: Kirk Owers
2. Wedge-tailed Eagle
Australia’s largest bird of prey, we sometimes see these majestic birds perched on tree branches, their watchful gaze overlooking the mallee landscape in search for their next meal.
Their wings span to 2.3m and they are often seen alone, or sometimes in pairs, circling high above the tree line.
3. Red-rumped Parrot
Spotted in Eucalypt woodlands, the small Red-Rumped Parrot is rarely seen far from water and the flashes of the male's red rump will catch your eye as they take off up into the trees. We often see Red-rumps feeding on the ground, foraging for seeds, in small groups of 2 or more.
Another bird species that mate for life, they make their nests in hollow eucalypt trees and the female doesn’t leave the nest until the young have hatched.
Image: Gavin Saur Photography
4. Pink-eared Duck
A small duck with beautiful plumage, the “Pinky” is named so after the small spot of pink feathers on the side of the male's head. They are easily distinguished from other duck species as they have bold black and white striped feathers on their neck, breast and underwing areas, rewarding them the nickname of ‘Zebra Duck’.
Even their bills are a distinguishing feature, the flat wide shape allowing them to feed by sucking water through the tip of the bill and expelling it through grooves that run down the sidesl, leaving any invertebrates in the bill ready for eating.
Image: Elsa Jacobs
5. Australian Ringneck (Mallee Ringneck)
There is no mistaking this colourful parrot as it flies through the Mallee canopy, it’s luminous green plumage always catching our eyes. Ringneck’s gain their name from the bright yellow band around their neck and we often see them along the river corridor and in the Mallee floodplain country.
Image: Gluepot Reserve
Join us on a murray river safari
Our Murray River Safari tours are short, 3 days and 2 nights, and depart on Tuesdays and Fridays from March through to November each year.
Tours depart from Renmark in South Australia, flights are available into Adelaide airport.
As with all our tours, nightly accommodation is on board a comfortable houseboat and you will be accompanied by 2 friendly guides.
Other activities on this tour include a cultural walk with Aboriginal Rangers from Calperum Station, a guided sunset canoe through Woolenook Bend, and a tour and tasting at the Woolshed Brewery.
The next Murray River Safari tours depart March 2021 - view these dates by clicking HERE.